It’s been six years since we published an article entitled A Prodigal Son Returns, the story of Carl Newton.
When we first spoke with Carl, he told us about how he had been in and out of prison for over a decade. Each time he found himself back ‘inside’ he was struck by the faithfulness of now retired Inside Out Prison Chaplaincy volunteer prison chaplain, George Stubbs.
It was through George’s kindness that Carl started attending chapel services in prison and decided to recommit his life to Christ after years of living with drug addiction.
Carl left prison for the last time and his own father Baptised him at their church on the Gold Coast in 2016.
We caught up with Carl again and he shared what he’s been up to for the last six years.
He is married to Katrina and after years of struggling with infertility, their prayers were answered with the birth of their ‘miracle baby’, Zack. The name is a nod to Isaac, the miracle baby of Abraham and Sarah and means ‘one who laughs’. It is certainly true of their happy little boy, now three-and-a-half years old.
Carl worked as a site manager for about four years, while working towards his license upgrade. He now works for himself in his own business, focusing on small construction projects on the Gold Coast. He’s also just finished renovating his beachside family home, making it a welcoming place for entertaining family and friends.
Carl, his wife and son enjoy taking family camping trips together, including interstate adventures. Carl purposefully chooses building projects which are close to home, so he can make the most of family time.
Stories like these are the reason that prison chaplains are inspired to do what they do. Carl recalls the comfort of seeing George’s friendly face each week. He reminded Carl that God still loved him even when he kept making the same mistakes, finding himself back in prison.
Those days seem like a lifetime ago because Carl’s life looks so different today – thanks to the prayers and support of family, friends and prison chaplains like George.